Another lucky few were awarded with their Certificate of Land Ownership (CLOA) led by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in another distribution ceremony, this time, in Zamboanga Del Norte.

Around 997 fortunate Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) were overjoyed of this rare opportunity which was likely seldom to have taken place from the former administrations. An equivalent total of about 1,595 Hectares of fertile, agricultural land has been apportioned to all ARBs in the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Sur.

Long-time wood tree farmer Saturnina Orquiz wept tears of joy as she finally received her CLOA after she and her husband have been tilling the land they thought they would never own for decades.

In her statement, Orquiz said: “This is a dream come true! The farm is finally mine! I am thankful for President Duterte for making this happen,”

“With this land and the other projects turned over today, I am confident that my family’s future is secured. Am looking forward to earning more this coming years,” she added.

DAR Secretary John Castriciones officiated the ceremony held at the Dapitan City Cultural and Sports Center in Dapitan City, Zamboanga Del Norte on Friday March 9, 2018.

Together with Castriciones are other Top DAR Officials Undersecretaries Luis Pangulayan of the Office of the Legal Affairs, Karlo Bello of Field Operations Office, Rosalina Bistoyong of Support Services, David Erro of Policy & Planning office, Bernie Cruz of Special Concerns Office and Public Assistance & Media Relations Service Director Leomides R. Villareal.
The distribution ceremony, also attended by Land Registration Authority (LRA) Administrator Renato Bermejo highlighted the turnover of different livelihood projects and rural infrastructures, including 13 farm-to-market roads, 2 communal irrigation systems, and one 28.8 linear meter bridge, estimated to worth at around Php 400 Million to be tendered for these local farmers as well.

In a statement, Castriciones said: “The CLOAs are just the first step towards more support from the government. We will follow President Duterte’s national goal of improving the economic lives of our farmers by pouring various support services to farm communities”

“My marching order from our President is to help our poor farmers and to fight for their rights,” he added.

Another farmer from Zamboanga del Norte couldn’t help but jump for joy as he received his CLOA. Romulo Sambio, 40-years old said that: “No more worrying about paying rent for the use of the land. Most of all, no more fear of getting ejected as tenants. Pasalamat talaga kami kay Presidente Duterte”.

Castriciones also said that the rural infrastructure project is set to benefit more than 10,000 ARBs, saying “These infrastructure projects would greatly help our farmers, especially the roads and bridge which would ease farmers’ travel from farm to the market centers. The two irrigation systems would boost their farm yield,”

To make matters even better, DAR will also construct processing centers for local handicrafts involving abaca mat-weaving centers and community-managed potable water supply, sanitation and hygiene (CPWASH) with the aid of DAR Partnership Development Projects says DAR Regional Director Julita Ragandang.

“These processing centers is where the farmers who are mostly women, conduct their livelihood projects of mat-weaving and make handicrafts out of abaca to sell for additional family income,” she said. “The CPWASH will be constructed to provide potable water to remote farming communities”

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